The Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary is the second largest painted storks sanctuary in South Asia, right after KokkareBellur. The place is a must visit for bird watchers, as the beautiful birds can be seen nesting in the region all through the peak season. The season starts in February and runs through till August. In August you can see the remaining few birds, or as the locals say, the lazy birds!
Kaggaladu is a village in the Sira Taluk of Tumkur District, and it is located around 130 km from Bangalore and is a mere 3-hour drive. Do make this visit during a weekend for a delightful experience in nature watching birds roosting.
The storks are important to the villagers, here, and in order to preserve their natural habitat, tamrind trees are mainted for the birds to roost and nest on. Other birds that have been sighted here are the Blackbuck and the Grey Pelican. The village became a spot on the map in the year 1999, due to the group known as the WANC (Wildlife Aware Nature Club), who are responsible for monitoring the nesting colony and the wetlands used by the birds.
The Land of Grey Herons
Grey Herons are the prominent birds in this village, and there is a Heronry here, that houses most of these Herons. According to the local villagers, the Grey Herons used to nest on a single tamarind tree for many years, and the number steadily increased and now there is a full fledged heronry running here. The villagers protect the birds as they believe they are symbols of prosperity.
The determination of the villagers is such that the they don’t cultivate and harvest tamrind from the trees, and the trees are instead preserved untouched for the herons. The local people here are very protective of the birds.
Other than the Grey Heron, there are various birds of foreign origin sighted as well. The wildlife here is usually the animals of the drier reasons, also the Blackbuck. The weather here is dry usually, averaging a rainfall of around 60 cm annually, and the temperatures max and min during the hot and cold seasons are 40 degree Celsius, and 15 degrees.
There are various rules here that have been established by the local government to protect the heronry, tourists and visitors are required to follow these rules.
The other attractions in this area are:
- The Kallambella Wetland, where you can see the beautiful and elegant waterfowl
- The Seebe Temple at the village of Seebe
- The distinctive Mughal architecture of the Mughal period, in the town of Sira
Getting to Kaggaladu
The nearest town is the place called “Sira”, the recommended way to get here is through the Bangalore-Pune Highway. Sira is around 50 km from Tumkur city. Finding the place can be a bit tricky, be sure to watch out for the signages put up. Carry your cameras along, because face it – how often do you have the chance to visit the 2nd largest Stork’s nest in a region?
The place is beautiful, and definitely worth a visit!